Iranian, Hizbullah Escalations Force Israel to Rewrite Self-Defense Rules

(Investigative Project on Terrorism) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - Iran is concentrating all its resources today trying to save the formidable benefits it gained in the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA). In the eyes of the Islamic regime in Tehran, the deal is worth keeping even after the U.S. withdrawal because it allows Iran to move safely towards attaining a large arsenal of nuclear weapons in 11 years. It could not make it to the first bomb before the deal, because Iran could not safely cross the threshold between accumulating enough enriched uranium to produce a bomb and actually making one. In addition, the deal legitimized Iranian efforts to develop long-range missiles and its wide intervention in Middle Eastern countries, and provided Iran with the financial resources necessary to pursue these policies. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei reacted to the American maximum pressure by turning to brinkmanship - taking action that clearly demonstrates to the U.S. that pressuring Iran is costly and could trigger unwanted escalation. He hopes to force the U.S. to succumb to Iranian pressure and ease the sanctions to avoid escalation. Israel always considered the JCPOA as a dangerous and disastrous deal. It wants to make sure that the U.S. preserves its position of strength if and when negotiations with Iran start on a new agreement. Iran's multi-national arms build-up forced Israel to alter its defensive strategies, triggering new and aggressive actions in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, where Iran stores medium-range rockets that can reach Israel at camps controlled by Shiite militias. It is understood in the region that Israel was forced to behave this way by Iran. Israel has proved again that it enjoys a profound intelligence dominance (manifested by the Mossad seizing the nuclear archives from Tehran) and air superiority over Iran and its proxies. Israel has shown that it can protect itself and foil attempts to hurt it. Israel also proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a strategic asset for the U.S., for the pragmatic Arab states, and for the liberal democracies. The writer, former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division and director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, is director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2019-09-13 00:00:00

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